Arsenio Hall: Will lighting strike twice?

Courtesy Alexander Tamargo

There are two types of people in the United States: Those who watched the Emmy Award-winning Arsenio Hall Show and those who know of that guy named Arsenio Hall. Arguably, not everyone loved the guy, but Hall did become a household name during his show’s reign from 1989 to 1994. On Monday night, the 56-year-old actor and comedian announced his returns to late night during a private event taking place at the Shore Club’s Red Room in Miami Beach.

Hall took to the stage under a ruckus of fist pumps and “Woof! Woof! Woof!” — the show’s 1990s catch phrase — as if he was about to deliver a stand-up routine. But instead of making jokes, he expressed heartfelt gratitude to the CBS Television Distribution executives and broadcast station representatives for a second chance.

“It made the most sense to bring him back to late night,” said Sean Compton, president of programming and entertainment for Tribune Broadcasting. “He’s an unbelievable talent. He’s proven to do it successfully. We’re hoping to create that magic again.”

Representatives state that more than 90 percent of the stations around the country have picked up the Arsenio Hall Show, which is slated to begin on Sept. 9. Depending on the market, the show may air at either 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. Miami and Fort Lauderdale residents can tune in to WSFL.

“I’m scared to not do what I want to do,” Hall said privately and shortly after addressing the room that was filled with people who believe in his comeback. “But I’m a fierce competitor and I want to win.”

Hall’s conversational interview style hit a note with viewers. His guests included Julia Roberts, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jordan, Robert Williams and even presidential candidate Bill Clinton who played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the saxophone.

20 years later, Hall said that it’s impossible to bring the same ‘ol Arsenio to late night. He’s simply a different man and a father of a 13-year-old son.

“Nothing changes you like fatherhood,” he said. “It makes you a better person and a more well-rounded person. When you put a different person into the body of that talk show, it runs differently.”